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View Full Version : Inspired by second baby shower question..


amwhitaker
04-19-2006, 10:39 AM
Got another etiquette question: I know someone having a very expensive sit down wedding reception where a limited number of guests are invited. This person is having a a big shower where most of the people invited are not invited to the wedding reception. What are your thoughts?

Matt'sMom
04-19-2006, 11:33 AM
Well, traditionally the bridal shower is put on & paid for by the bridesmaids. Invitations to this event are also typically extended by the bridesmaids (not the bride or her immediate family).

The wedding & reception are more traditionally paid for by the bride's family, &/or the wedding couple themselves... with the couple (& often their parents too) determining who is invited.

Differences in the invitation lists for these two, entirely separate events may quite naturally occur. I've been to bridal showers in the past that were held for co-workers... but not everyone who worked there was all that close of a friend to the bride-to-be, and there was never any expectation that everyone should also be invited to the weddings/receptions.

The bridal shower is an opportunity to celebrate with the bride-to-be, and to wish her well as she prepares for her marriage. There are typically food and favors provided to the guests at a shower, so it's not as if it is simply a plea for money & gifts with nothing being offered in return.

If the family can not afford to also invite all of the bride's friends, co-workers and extended family to the more exclusive reception (or the reception location can only accommodate a limited number of guests, or even if it is simply by choice that they are having a relatively 'small' reception)... I personally would not consider that a breach of etiquette.

Keep in mind too that for the wedding reception, they must also include friends and family of the groom--many of whom probably will not be invited to the bridal shower. Determining that invitation list really requires a lot of give and take. (When my sister got married a few years back, they had a small reception hall that only accommodated c. 100 people--and the groom's parents sent her a list of c. 80 people that they felt absolutely HAD to be invited! LOL! Thankfully, a good percentage of those people responded that they would not be able to attend, so DSis was eventually able to send out a second round of invites to more of her own friends and extended family.)

Julia M
04-19-2006, 11:38 AM
Well, I thought as a general rule, that shouldn't be done. But, I got married 15 years ago!!!

Again, like baby showers, it probably also comes down to what you mean by "shower". I was living in a different city, and my coworkers had a "shower" for me (cake at lunch) and gave me a group gift. They weren't invited to the wedding.

We also had 2 more "formal" showers, both hosted by friends of my parents. One was a couples shower and one was a ladies shower. I wouldn't have considered inviting anyone to the shower who wasn't invited to the wedding. (the people hosting the showers checked with us about the guest list)

Julia

MyGoofy26
04-19-2006, 11:46 AM
Interested to hear different views on this one. . . we have extended family that does this constantly. We aren't particularly close to them (grandma's sister's kids) but we're inevitably invited to every shower. . . but rarely the weddings. And in each case it's the family throwing the shower, not the bridesmaids.

kpm76
04-19-2006, 12:04 PM
I've never been invited to a shower and not a wedding. I always thought if you were on the shower list, you were on the wedding list.

Matt'sMom
04-19-2006, 12:08 PM
And in each case it's the family throwing the shower, not the bridesmaids.


Now that is most definitely a breach of appropriate etiquette! :rolleyes:

I was taught that the bridal shower is never put on by the bride's immediate family, as that would indeed appear to be a plea from the family for gifts and money... as oppossed to a genuine opportunity for friends of the bride to celebrate with her. In our social circles, bridal showers are always put on by friends/bridesmaids. In fact we (my mother and I) traveled over 6 hours drive each direction, to attend my sister's out of state bridal shower... because she and her bridesmaids were living three states away from us. And we had no input into who was invited--aside from immediate family, the guests were all 'local' friends of the bride. princess:

mickeyfan2
04-19-2006, 12:14 PM
I've never been invited to a shower and not a wedding. I always thought if you were on the shower list, you were on the wedding list.
Same here.

I guess a shower at work would be different, but the one with the families they should get a list from both families of Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins and close friends who are all coming to the wedding.

KelNottAt
04-19-2006, 12:15 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.

MrsPete
04-19-2006, 12:20 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.My thoughts exactly. If you're close enough to the person to invite them to a shower (and ask them to bring a gift), then that person should expect to receive an invite to the wedding too!

Now, I can see that sometimes "surprise showers" are sprung upon people at work, and it might be that the bride hadn't planned to invite her entire office to the wedding. In that kind of case, in which the bride didn't have any input into the shower guest list, there could be some wiggle room.

MissKIA
04-19-2006, 12:41 PM
I would never invite someone to a shower if they weren't invited to the wedding. It is the bridesmaid's responsibility (or whoever is putting on the shower) to get a copy of the wedding list and invite off of that. I have been invited to showers and not weddings and find it quite insulting!

roliepolieoliefan
04-19-2006, 12:46 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.

I totally agree with this. I have been invited to weddings but not the shower, but never the other way around.

Showers for people you work with are totally different. I'm not really friends with those people, but feel close enough to them that if someone is having a baby or getting married, I would buy them something. But wouldn't necessarily expect to be invited to the wedding.

And my mom and grandma did pay for my wedding shower. All my bridesmaids were fresh out of college. One was getting married in 3 months after me and 1 was pregnant with her first child. My mom and grandma thought it was an added expense they didn't need.

Matt'sMom
04-19-2006, 12:46 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding...

I agree that that would be tacky... 'IF' the bride or her family have control regarding final approval of both of the guest lists. Then I would hope that the lists would indeed be 'complimentary'.

But in our area, it has never been customary for the bride (or her family) to have exclusive say over who is invited to a bridal shower--her bridesmaids/friends organize the shower and determine that guest list (although, as a courtesy, the bride's family are often asked if there are relatives that they feel need to be included). I guess this is simply a cultural or regional difference that I was previously unaware of.

DiznEeyore
04-19-2006, 12:50 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.
ITA. ::yes::

I'm also in the same position ... I just received an invitation to a bridal shower for my dh's aunt. She's 50+ and this will be her second marriage. She and her fiance (who I've never met -- haven't even seen dh's aunt in over 2 years even though she lives locally) both have well-established households and need nothing. However, the invitation lists 3 stores that they are registered at and also that "gift cards to Home Depot and Lowe's are appreciated!" And dh and I know we're not being invited to the wedding, as it's going to be a camping/kayaking trip with their friends and my mil attending.

:rolleyes: In case you haven't guessed, I'm not going to the shower.

ducklite
04-19-2006, 12:51 PM
I agree that it's tacky to invite someone to a shower but not the wedding.

When my sister got married, I was her maid of honor, and she had four other bridesmaids--we threw her a shower all together--and I don't think it was tacky that "I" as a member of the bridal party and immediate family threw the shower with the other bridesmaids... But had it been my mom and I throwing it, that would have been tacky.

When I got married, five of my female coworkers gave me a small surprise shower in one of the conference rooms a couple days before I got married--one of the girls mom's was a professional cake decorator and made a small cake, and they had pitched in and purchased a couple small gifts off my registry. I don't think that was tacky because they knew they weren't invited, we only had family and a handful of very close long-time friends at the reception--only 40 people total. It was a total surprise that they did this, and greatly appreciated because it was the only "shower" I had, and it was just really thoughtful of them. :goodvibes

Anne

sconnell
04-19-2006, 12:59 PM
lol. This thread makes me glad that we did do the "large reception." It was just heavy hors devours (or however you spell that) it was a 2 o'clock wedding. Pretty much everyone was invited to the wedding and reception. And I mean EVERYONE. My DH's father was the pastor of our church, the largest one in that area, and my father was a Judge! So it was either tiny wedding or huge wedding. I think we had about 600 people. lol. Most of whom, my DH & I didn't know personally. :rotfl2: Anyway, my point was I'm so glad that we didn't have to deal with who was offended or hurt by not being invited.
As far as showers go, we had a few. A group of 15 or so women hosted a shower at church. My DSIL and matron of honor hosted a small ornament shower at her house, just friends. My DH's out of town family hosted a shower near their home, which was a nice way for them to celebrate with us because some of them couldn't make the wedding. (but were invited) There may have been one other, but I can't recall. :confused3

MyGoofy26
04-19-2006, 01:10 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.

That's sorta been our stance, didn't know if we were just taking too much offense. All the cousins one generation up from me were very close growing up, and even I was close with my cousins when we were smaller but we've all very much grown apart over the years. We've stopped going to most showers/parties aside from a few of the people because they ONLY time they want anything to do with us is when the party is cheap (most of them go to this one community center that is free for residents of that neighborhood) and they want another gift.

We've had more than a few invite us to showers and then we get snubbed for the wedding. . . what's even more insulting is that each time my great aunt tries to say that we WERE invited but the invite got lost in the mail. If that's the case, my grandma and her sister talk a few times a week so she knows WELL beforehand that we don't have an invitation but no one has ever called or sent another once they find out we never got this elusive invitation.

pearlieq
04-19-2006, 01:16 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.

EXACTLY!

The only possible exception I can think of might be office showers, just because people don't tend to socialize with all of their co-workers outside of the office. Plus, it's usually don't without the honoree's approval or even knowledge, and office showers (at least where I've worked) mean cake in the conference room and a gift card or other communal gift.

I wouldn't feel bad tossing in $10 for an office group gift and not being invited to the wedding. Any other scenario, though, is rude and disrespectful.

ReneeQ
04-19-2006, 06:47 PM
I'm the OP on the 2nd baby shower thread (and can't believe it's still going!). I agree that being invited to a shower and not the wedding is just asking for a gift. The only exception is an office situation. But most of the time in my office, when people are having a cake and punch reception at the church, they put an invitation on the board in the break room, and everyone is invited.

I did a search on Emily Post and couldn't find an answer, but found an answer by Peggy Post:

Guest List: The shower guest list is generally made up of close friends, attendants and family members. Normally, anyone invited to a shower is also invited to the wedding. There are exceptions, however, such as when co-workers wish to throw an office shower for the bride even though they're not invited the main event. Attendants and mothers of the bride and groom are generally included in any showers given for the bride or the couple, but they are not required to bring gifts to each party if there is more then one. It is also important that the same guests are not invited to multiple showers -- an invitation to several parties puts a serious strain on guests' budgets. In fact, showers for the bride and/or groom should be limited to two, and with different guests invited to each.

jennifer293
04-19-2006, 07:34 PM
Every wedding I have ever been to the reception immediately followed in the church reception hall so everyone just went down the hall or downstairs etc. SO I have never had to encounter this type of situation. I too have never been invited to a shower and not the wedding too. I think this is very rude and I wouldn't go. That just screams.."BRING ME A PRESENT.. and don't let the door hit you on the @$$ on the way out!!!" :furious:

swillis
04-19-2006, 07:38 PM
Yeah, that's really bad.

Lisa loves Pooh
04-19-2006, 07:38 PM
I've been to a shower where the brided didn't have a wedding--it was her, hubby, and witnesses on the beach.

The two events can be mutually exlcusive.

Whether or not they should be depends on semantics.

"I" paid for my wedding--I didn't have a shower...but should someone have thrown me one--I woudln't think they would be checking against my reception lists to make sure that I invited everyone---considering when showers are held in relation to the wedding--it "could" be impossible to add more unless they were on later rounds of guest lists.

Just my $.02.

ETA:
I stand corrected by Peggy Post. The shower I was speaking of was indeed thrown by office mates.

ktink
04-19-2006, 07:44 PM
To me, when you invite someone to a shower, but not to the wedding it's like saying "you're important enough to give me a gift, but you're not important enough to share my special day."

Kinda rude and tacky, if you ask me.

You took the words write out of my mouth. I've known people who have done this as well and people get their feelings hurt. One of my friends had a bridal shower in which everyone and their distant cousin were invited but then they didn't want to pay for all of those people at the reception. Can't say that I blame them for that part of it but don't expect a hand out from others if you don't plan to do the same. It's a little thing we call cooth. ;)

jennifer293
04-20-2006, 07:50 AM
[QUOTE=Lisa loves Pooh]I've been to a shower where the brided didn't have a wedding--it was her, hubby, and witnesses on the beach.

The two events can be mutually exlcusive.

Whether or not they should be depends on semantics.

"I" paid for my wedding--I didn't have a shower...but should someone have thrown me one--I woudln't think they would be checking against my reception lists to make sure that I invited everyone---considering when showers are held in relation to the wedding--it "could" be impossible to add more unless they were on later rounds of guest lists.

Just my $.02.


DH and I had a HUGE shower/family get together/reception whatever you wanna call it..LOL and did not have a wedding. We had our wedding all planned for May 25, 1995 ,but DH was in the Air Force and he got orders to go to Cuba for 4 months. He was scheduled to leave on May 10th. SOOOO my mom kicked all the wedding stuff aside and she sent out invites to everyone under the sun and we had this huge party. It was so much fun. I had the cake, the food, and the presents so basically it was like having the reception without the wedding..LOL Much cheaper this way too...We received so many nice things and I am still using all of it 11 years later. We got married at the J.O.P. so it was Dh and I and a courthouse employee to witness.. :rotfl2:

****If I would had of had a wedding all of those people would have been invited as well !!!!

Oreo Cookie
04-20-2006, 08:03 AM
My understanding was that only those people invited to the wedding are invited to the shower. I think it is tacky to invite people to the shower, so the bride gets gifts, but not to the wedding. I know I have been a brides maid-matron several times, and we always derived our list of bridal shower invitees from the list of invitees to the wedding.

ElizaB39
04-20-2006, 10:31 AM
I know when I got married all of my activities broke all sorts of etiquette rules! My own MIL gave me a bridal shower! I knew at the time this was not "right" but what was I supposed to do? Tell her "no thanks!"? So we celebrated and had a nice day, but I felt awkward.

Then, my mom's friends held an open house shower at her church, very popular where I grew up. It was announced in the church bulletin and I think I wrote 70 thank yous for that shindig. Separate invitiations were also sent out to close friends that weren't in our parish, the separate invite people were also invited to the wedding, but the open house attendees, not necessarily. My mom and I had the discussion about how was I supposed to invite all the apen house attendees to the wedding and she said it is not expected, a lot of the open house attendees are just showing me (mom) support... Huh? Whatever!

Then, at my rehearsal dinner, my uncle showed up uninvited! He asked someone at the hotel where we all were, and he just arrived and we set another place for him. Whenever he can get a free meal... :crazy:
My in laws still talk about him showing up (they thought it was hysterical and are convinced he was in the witness protection plan because "he just didn't seem like a priest"). :rolleyes2

We also had a couples "shower/party" for all of our friends where we were living at the time as we were getting married 1,000 miles away and none of them came to the actual wedding. Only one gift from these attendee (whew). I think this was the only party that went by the book, although my SIL threw the party so technically that wasn't good, but we all had a blast and have a good video tape of that festivities...

I am sure I could think of more breaches of etiquette but aren't these enough already?! :thumbsup2